Top 10 Scenes from the “Lord of the Rings” Trilogy

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Okay, I admit, I am a bit of a nerd. I don’t do pocket protectors, tape on glasses or plaid pants, so I am a cool nerd, but a nerd none the less. One of the ways that this nerdiness manifests itself is in my unabashed admiration of the LOTR trilogy.  If you don’t see your favorite scene, I’m sorry…no, I’m not, it’s my list.

(Editor’s note: Author is probably a geek, not a nerd.)

10. Shelob’s Stalks and Stings Frodo (ROTK)

Couldn’t decide which one was more frightening, the sight (and thought) of a car sized spider appearing out of nowhere to chase you through his apartment sized web or a being silently stalked by said spider and then being impaled by his javelin of a stinger? You be the judge.

9. Legolas Acrobatic Horse Mount

Legolas firing on the Wargriders to his acrobatic mount on the horse (TTT) – I just got back from seeing “Cirque Du Soleil” and couldn’t help but think that Legs would put all of those guys to shame! First watching him pick of Orcs across a plain with his arrows behind those menacing trumpets is thrilling. And then watching him grab the horses bridle and flip on the horses back is just plain cool! More about this scene here.

8. Pippin Sings to Lord Denathor (ROTK)

The reason that this is here is the impact of contrast. Think “The Godfather”, “A Bronx Tale” and … “FaceOff”. Two movies that used a pleasant melody and sweet song/scene with a violent one. This makes the violence seem even more brutal. Pippin’s surprisingly sweet and plaintive song of sorrow is the perfect anti-compliment to the Faramir led battle.

7. Arwen Pursued by the Nazgul (FOTR)

This scene was the moment for me when she stopped being “Steven’s daughter” and became “Liv.” By the way, has there been a scarier group of undead guys in movie history?

6. Aragorn Returns (TTT)

Every action hero needs a signature scene and this is his. How cool did Viggo look when he pushed open those doors and silently announced his re-arrival? That one scene shot his street-cred through the stratosphere!

5. Eowyn Discovered on the Battlefield (ROTK)

This scene was an emotional wonder. The despair of a brother who has just discovered his sister seemingly dead on the battlefield (that look of horror on Eomer’s face is brilliant and hard to look away from), the sincere care of Aragorn to Eowyn (By the way, I want that ring!), the concern of her on looking brother and the burgeoning love between Faramir and Eowyn all held together by a haunting song by an ethereal singer. I have been looking for that song for forever and can’t find it! Can somebody help me out

4. Aragorn Honors the Hobbits (ROTK)

When the four bow to the newly crowned king, Aragorn stops them and stated “My friends, you bow to no one!” and leads the entire kingdom to bow to the four diminutive heroes. I defy you to watch this scene and not get choked up just a little.

3. Gollum/Smeagol’s Schizophrenic Conversation (TTT)

If a computer generated image could win an Oscar, Gollum (or Sméagol, if he suits you!) would have run away with it. With this scene, Peter King upped the ante as to what you can do in a movie with a computer (plus, the way it was filmed made you actually think it was two separate people. Sort of a Split Screen 2.0.), legitimized Andy Serkis’ inclusion in the trilogy and gave us another facet to an already fascinating character.

2. Gandalf Explains the “Afterlife” to Pippin (ROTK)

Watching what the great Ian McKellen did with the brilliant poetic lines of Tolkien, it is no wonder that Billy Boyd (Pippin) was transfixed and hanging on his every word. To look at Ian’s eyes, you saw that he was Gandalf, he had been to that “far green sunrise” and he could not wait to get back…*sigh!*…

1. Gandalf Fights the Balrog – Frodo’s Tearful Look (FOTR)

This scene was amazing on many different levels, but the most significant is what it did to the characters and how it foreshadowed the story lines. It polarized and solidified characters. It showed Gandalf making the ultimate sacrifice (can anyone say “Jesus figure”?), forced Aragorn into leadership (speaking of which, that look that he gives as he watched Gandalf fall in the crevasse is fantastic! You can literally see his switch go on. It is a crime that Viggo’s mantle is bare.), forced Legolas to deal with death and grief and shocked the Hobbits into the realization that outside of their idyllic world, there existed death, pain, sorrow and suffering and it could hit them personally. There was a great contrast near the end of that scene; Sam’s response to Aragorn versus Frodo’s. Sam was pulled to his feet by Aragorn and stood firm despite his grief, Frodo fled, and in the process gave us one of the most poignant moments in movie history. This contrast would be played out brilliantly in the rest of the trilogy.

Written by Jonathan Hopkins

Did you know the Ring was actually a MacGuffin. What? Yes, check it out.

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41 Comments

  1. Very good picks! 😀 A few suggestions on my part:

    1. When Boromir comforts Frodo in Lothlorien in the FOTR EE. Doubly poignant considering that, at least book-wise, Boromir was probably the most opposed to Frodo bearing the Ring. Granted, he did have his reasons — not necessarily correct, but at least sympathetic reasons: he wanted to protect his beloved city against Mordor. But even so, it’s just one of these moments when Frodo’s tired, no doubt worn down by the Ring, grieving for Gandalf, feeling some guilt over Gandalf’s death (especially considering that he must have thought that if he hadn’t decided to take the Mines of Moria, this wouldn’t have happened. That and being unable to pull Gandalf up), also feeling guilty about possibly being a burden to the Fellowship considering that Haldir wouldn’t let them enter Lothlorien because of the Ring (and yes, Haldir had his reasons, but I’ll admit, first time I saw the movie, I wanted to slap him. He made up for it later, though. :), and feeling as if his friends (including Sam!) were turning against him (although, really, it is the influence of the Ring). And Boromir really being the only one who comes to comfort him. And as someone else put it, he’s not just buttering up Frodo so he can take the Ring from him when he’s not looking — he genuinely cares about Frodo. I think this line really made up for a lot of Boromir’s actions earlier in the film (more specifically the Council of Elrond, because I’m not going to lie, he really got on my nerves when he started having a go at Aragorn):

    BOROMIR: Gandalf’s death was not in vain. Nor would he have you give up hope. You carry a heavy burden, Frodo — don’t carry the weight of the dead.

    2. Faramir’s flashback in the TTT Extended Edition to Minas Tirith and the day Boromir left. Not only does it flesh out Faramir’s motivations a little more (I know a few people weren’t really happy with the TTT EE either, accusing it of making Faramir “kind of pathetic”, but honestly? I wouldn’t say it’s a cureall to the complaints about Faramir in the theatrical cut, but I think at the very least, you start to feel sorry for him a little. Him and Boromir both), introduce the character of Denethor (which really intrigued me, and while I was disappointed with him in ROTK, I still think John Noble did a great job. :), and provide more context to Boromir’s actions, it also provides some very adorable scenes between Faramir and Boromir. Especially Faramir’s hug after Boromir finishes his victory speech. :3

    3. Saruman’s speech to his army in TTT. It’s just so well-orchestrated, well-scored…and Wormtongue’s tear adds a nice touch to the proceedings, as he realizes what he’s done in terms of allying himself with Saruman.

    4. Aragorn and Arwen’s meeting on the bridge in FOTR. It’s just such a beautiful scene. 🙂

    5. And earlier, Arwen comforting Aragorn and telling him that he won’t suffer the fate of Isildur.

    6. In the ROTK EE, Faramir consoling Eowyn. And I agree that Eowyn being found near-dead on the battlefield was heartrending to watch. And earlier, when Theoden dies.

    7. Totally agreed on Faramir’s ride. And earlier, when Gandalf tries to stop Faramir. If only because of this line:

    GANDALF: Your father loves you, Faramir. He will remember it in the end.

    And I think in a way, Denethor did.

    8. Faramir’s talk with Pippin in the ROTK EE. Again, people complained about it “degrading” Faramir, but really? I thought it was a pretty cute scene. 🙂 And it really makes Faramir’s ride all the more heartbreaking, really.

    9. The Crack of Doom. Just all of it. From Sam carrying Frodo to Frodo claiming the Ring to the Gollum fight to…just about everything, really. Seriously!

    10. Arwen and Aragorn’s reunion at the coronation. #Is a hopeless romantic. XD

    And agreed with…pretty much everyone regarding their favorite moments. Seriously, the LOTR movies are just a favorite moment all of its own, if you get what I mean. 🙂

  2. FotR: The moment when Boromir gets hit by the first arrow, and he remain fighting until the third one.. Dramatic music and slowmotion. I almost cried, when he admitted to Aragorn, that he tried to take the ring and had dissapointed Frodo.

  3. 10) Faramir: “….then it is forfeit….. Release them!”
    9) Aragorn: “….. Ride out with me…. Ride out and meet them!”
    8) Gandalf: “…we cannot get out. A shadow moves in the dark. We cannot get out…..they are coming.”
    7) Gamling: “we cannot defeat the armies of mordor.”
    Theoden: “no. We cannot. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless.”
    6) Merry: “the fires of isengard will spread. And the hills of buck land will burn. There won’t be a shire pippin.”
    5) Aragorn: “the day may come, when the courage of men fails….but is not this day….. This day we fight! Men of the west!!”
    4) Sam: “…. There’s some good in this world mr frodo, and it’s worth fighting for!”
    3) Theoden: ….. Eer the sun rises!!!!!”
    2) Gandalf: “… And then you see it….. White beaches ……and a red sunrise”
    1) the beginning of the first movie until the end of the last one.